He’s in the mood for sex; you’re not. So you roll over to your side of the bed and leave your man to fend for himself. But experts say lending your guy a hand-or more-when an extra hour of sleep seems more tantalizing could benefit you both. “Having maintenance sex is not just about taking care of your man’s needs. It’s about taking care of both people in the relationship,” says Debra Macleod, coauthor with husband Don of Lube Jobs: A Woman’s Guide to Great Maintenance Sex (Tarcher Books).

What is maintenance sex? It’s regular sexual intimacy designed to sustain a connection between you and your partner. What’s in it for you? You’ll feel the strengthened emotional and physical bond that it can bring. And your man will feel desired at a time when he could be worrying that he’s inching down the totem pole of importance in your life. So if you’re more excited about watching Grey’s Anatomy than studying your man’s anatomy, we’ve got three ways to help you bring back that lovin’ feeling…

…when you’re too tired.

Make it fast. There’s nothing that says this has to be a ten-hour tantric affair. You and your mate can multitask in the shower with a sudsy hand job or grab a quickie between the sheets. And you might be surprised. “Tiredness can be overcome with an activity like sex,” says Judy Kuriansky, Ph.D., sex expert and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to a Healthy Relationship (Alpha Books). She suggests slowing things down and just letting your man cuddle with you and touch you in a gentle way. “You don’t have to think, Oh, I’m going to have sex now. Instead, think, Let’s just connect.” You can stop there or maybe all that touching will lead to something more. 

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…when your sex life bores you.

You know what this is going to be like: same position, different day. Why not take the initiative to put a new twist on things, such as reading an erotic story to your partner from a book you’ve bought. Upping the intimacy doesn’t take a tremendous amount of effort. The simplest switches can have the sexiest effect. “Change your surroundings, for example, by putting a red lightbulb in your bedside lamp or switching to satin sheets, which feel sexy against bare skin,” says Macleod.

…when there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Consider shifting your priorities, even for just one week. You would make time for a half-hour massage at a spa or a steamy episode of your favorite TV show, right? Then why not for some loving? “Try not to view sex as something that takes time out of your day, but adds to it,” suggests Carol Taylor, editor of Brown Sugar: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction (Plume). And it doesn’t have to be a big production. It could be as simple as waking your man up with oral sex. Or perhaps mixing a few cocktails, getting into bed, and ordering a sexy movie. Either you’ll both drift off to sleep cuddling, or you’ll end up doing something a lot more fun.

Photo Credit: Llynda Churilla. (photo used for illustrative purposes only)